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Gift of Words

Many words are breathing life into my heart and bringing me comfort. It is all gift.

There are things I ponder.

Stories I wonder if should be shared.

I know. I say that often. But I contemplate and wrestle with how to use the gift of weaving words.

I pray for wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord, for love and the gift of words to give Glory to God.

But first, there’s remembering, honoring, feeling, and tending a garden in a new way and choosing to live while rebuilding all that crumbled to dust around us these last few years and weeks.

The layers of settling dust sometimes make it hard to breathe.

I stand above piles of crumbling bricks at my feet, awaiting the skilled bricklayer and builder to direct my way. I am thankful the foundation has long been set in stone.

The dust will be gathered and mixed with cleansing waters from mercy’s sea to form a newly shaded mortar. Rebuilding slowly will allow the bond to cement and the broken pieces to once again become solid and stable from the inside out.

I rely on the breath of life, the Paraclete, the one who comes alongside and comforts me. He’s there to comfort you, too.

“If you take away their breath, they perish, and they return to dust.”-Bless the Lord, Oh my soul Hymn.

Dust to Dust

I recall Lent—the dusting, cleaning, preparing, the giving up, and the sanctifying God was doing in me—dust to dust, we shall return.

Never could I predict the timeline God planned for us. But it was clear to me Lent was preparing the way for not just Christ but also for Jon and me.

This was Jon’s walk to Calvary, and I was at the foot of the cross with Our Lady. Even today, I remain wrapped in her mantle, reminded of her sorrow and pierced heart. These words and Jon’s last breath tell their own story. They deserve a reflection all their own.

So much was revealed, healed, made holy, and whole in that time of deep pain and suffering. It was a peaceful, holy, and happy death, the way one could only hope and pray it would be.

There are gifts for us in every season, even in grieving. I am no stranger to grief, but that is a story for another day.

It’s the story and the promise of the resurrection for over 2000 years.

Even in death, we receive the breath of life, all things made new. We just need to be open to receiving (and sharing) His gifts and plans for us.

I’m often told I should keep writing; I should write a book.

My response is a question laced with intense doubt, curiosity, and unworthiness: “I could write a book?”

Jon believed in me; he thought I could write a book or three.

He was my greatest cheerleader, best encourager, and advocate to help me see all things I didn’t believe about myself.

He was the first to hear, love, admire, shed a tear, and chuckle (where there was humor) over every word I composed. He appreciated my gifts as much as I admired and respected his.

He was the one who brought out the most authentic version of me.

We were better at seeing the best in one another and helping each other see what the other didn’t see in ourself.

He believed in me more than I believed in myself. The same could be said about me believing in him more than he believed in himself. We helped each other see how to best use the gifts we were given to serve others well. I am sure there is a book in that notion alone—how we learn to see and love ourselves through the eyes of love—the way Jesus sees us. And maybe How we break those generational wounds that give us the freedom to be ourselves using our God-given gifts.

Maybe I’ll write a book, or perhaps I’ll just stick to short reflections or blog posts for him—for Jon and God.

I will write for Jon to keep his memory alive, and because he thought I had a gift I needed to share, he loved the words I wrote and how I honored that gift and charism. As I mentioned, he was always the first to hear what I wrote. More often than not, there were cleansing tears for both of us. What was sometimes hard to say out loud was easier to read from a penned word.

I will write For God because he gave me the gift of words. May we not squander the cherished gifts bestowed upon us. So, I pray, listen, and discern whatever God wants me to write.

Listening and being in the present moment to what the Holy Spirit is breathing into my heart is where it’s best to be right now, just like it was then. When I was caring for Jon and guiding his hand on the gritty road to eternity.

It always is best to stay in the present. The sacrament of the present moment is a gift—staying present so we don’t miss the moments and whispers the Holy Spirit sends our way.

Remembering, honoring, feeling, seeing, writing, and sharing…

Honoring, Writing, Sharing

I was standing in a crowded space. I was shaken and comforted by the words from a familiar voice, “Do you know how much I love you?”

“I know,” I whispered back.

I always knew of his love. Knowing his—Jon’s— love helped me better KNOW HIS—the Father’s love for me.

What a vivid scene it was last night. I smiled back and felt the ever-familiar, safe, strong, lingering embrace.

A tear fell on my cheek.

I inhaled the moment and the embrace as long as the moment would allow.

In the distance, I heard a whistle. It was a bird that pulled me away from the moment.

I sat up, realizing I was startled from my sleep. I glanced at the clock.

It was three a.m.

Of course it was.

I fell back to sleep as my heart raced with quiet peace. The moment was a grace for which I prayed.

Remembering, honoring, feeling, and living in the moment.

When I woke up to start my day today, I remembered the striking image of standing in a crowd where I only noticed the two of us.

Then I remembered the words of love, the smile I miss, the embrace I long for, and the memory of another 3:00 a.m. with my love telling me of his love in the wee hours on the 28th. They are all gifts, even if only staying present in the present moment and memories of a dream.

Holy Spirit, you are welcome here.

Three o’clock a.m. was the hour over the last few months Jon and I would chat as the birds chirped outside in the wee hours, as I gave my best effort to answer his need for comfort in many different ways. One month ago, on April 28th at 3:00 a.m., was the last time I heard Jon say my name and whisper the gift of words that he loved me. You can read more here.

Brothers and sisters: No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.“—1 Corinthians 12:3b-7

Love So Deep

“I always knew of his love. Knowing his—Jon’s—love helped me better KNOW HIS—the Father’s love for me.”

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